There is a problem with our education system. It is becoming increasingly impersonal. The professionals can not complain and still keep their jobs. They have authoritarian bosses, who have authoritarian bosses. When obedience is what is expected little else is received.
People tend to treat other people like they are treated. Students learn their value by being treated with respect. With that respect subject matter has value. Subjects will ultimately be used to cheat humanity or to serve it. Respect is what determines how knowledge is used.
Teachers, like other people, try to please their bosses with a terrific job. Students try to do the same for their teachers. Unfortunately, what might be excellent work in a factory is not necessarily good in education. In a factory, speed and precision are admirable qualities. In education, speed, and precision come with a high cost. Neither society, nor students benefit from force-fed “knowledge.” Belittling remarks, unreasonable assignments, unreachable expectations, inappropriate curriculum, inappropriate testing, failure to respect individual differences, and the lack of individual consideration cause students crippling emotional damage. The cost for that damage is picked up by civilization. Education nurtures the growth of human beings each of whom can not be duplicated. Schools are not factories that produce inanimate objects. They need to enhance compassionate rational behavior.
Schools sometimes shun their responsibility to truth and student welfare. The entire thrust of education is aimed at teaching skills, at whatever cost to the student, however inappropriate they may be, or however damaging the process may be. Teaching skills is training, not educating. Teachers sometimes feel that when students are not learning it is somebody’s fault. Placing blame results in punishment, but not academic improvement, and not social responsibility. Many educators truly believe that there is something wrong with the either the child, the parents, the previous teachers, or all of them. Progress grows by expanding ability, and not by punishing inability.
In our entire “educational” repertoire, there is no adequate study of this damaging process. We care about our children, yet we demand that the schools educate them even if it doesn’t serve them well. Ask questions like, “Why are studies to determine institutional responsibility to students not heeded?” Questioning administrative expectations is considered to be insubordinate in many school systems. Parents who ask questions are disregarded. The public at large, and governmental institutions close their eyes to the escalating abuse. Proof of student progress is poorly measured with tests, and grades. Not many adults make their living, or serve humanity by taking tests.
Students benefit from good education. Successful students are becoming effective citizens. Society reflects an educational failure. What is seen in society’s mirror all too often is drug addiction, bully behavior, and depression. Those are all signs that education is not educating. Reality dictates that the curriculum is subordinate to the human being who is subordinate to humanity.
Schools are often abusive. When they base their control on fear, failure is happening in real time. A pharmaceutical company that makes a pill is required to study its affect on people. It must not hide how it harms patients. Students are teachers’ patients. Schools are hiding the ill effects of poorly distributed education on students who are required to be the subjects of unethical experimentation. Almost anybody in the system that complains will be singled out and humiliated. These are but a few of the effects of the dysfunction. Teachers are fired. Students are failed. Board members are not reelected. Parents are demeaned, and dismissed. Schools are scandalized. All of this happens while damaged people threaten or engineer violence.
People want education to succeed. Pretending that it succeeds is not helpful. WIP, war, injustice and poverty exist. Our children are saddled with the burden we left them. School is where they can learn that success takes PIE, people improving environment. PIE is how to improve education. Does your school serve PIE?